Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that his goal is to end the war with Ukraine by holding diplomatic talks, reported the country’s state-owned news agency Sputnik.
“Our goal isn’t to further whip up the Ukrainian conflict, but on the contrary, to bring this war to an end,” Putin said. “We are striving in this direction and will continue to do so. All armed conflicts end one way or another with some kind of negotiations on the diplomatic track.”
Putin stressed that Russia never refused negotiations with Ukraine, and it was Kiev that did not want to hold dialogues, reported Sputnik.
The comments came a day after United States President Joe Biden met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday. In his first visit out of Ukraine since the war began in February, Zelensky told US lawmakers in the House of Representatives that he hoped they would continue to support his country on a bipartisan basis, reported Reuters.
The Biden administration has said that it would provide $1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including the Patriot, or Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target, air defense system that the Ukrainian leader has said his country urgently needs to fend off Russian attacks, reported Reuters.
The Patriot is a theater-wide surface-to-air missile defense system which is considered one of the most advanced air defense systems in the US arsenal.
However, Putin has downplayed the significance of the latest military aid provided by the US.
“They [US] say that they can supply those Patriots there [to Ukraine] right away,” Putin said, reported TASS. “Fine, may they go ahead. We will knock out those Patriots. Then something else will have to be provided instead of the Patriots. New systems will have to be developed. This is a lengthy process. And a no simple one.”